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Friction and Wear Research Volume 2, 2014

Contact Characteristics of Metallic Materials


in Conditions of Heavy Loading by Friction or
by Electric Current
Marina I.Aleutdinova*1, 2, Viktor V. Fadin1, Aleksandr V. Kolubaev1, 3, Valery A. Aleutdinova4
Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of Siberian Branch Russian Academy of Sciences,

Seversk Technological Institute - branch of State Autonomous Educational Institution of Higher Professional
Education National Research Nuclear University MEPhl
2

National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University

National Research University Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University

2/4 pr. Akademicheskii, Tomsk, 634021, Russia


*1

aleut@ispms.ru

Received 5 September 2013; Accepted 23 October 2013; Published 15 May 2014


2014 Science and Engineering Publishing Company

Abstract
Friction of composites having composition TiC+metal was
realized at pressure more 100 MPa in lubricant medium.
Sliding electric contact of metal materials was carried out at
contact current density higher 100 A/cm2 without lubricant.
It was shown that these loading parameters cause a friction
surface wear which increases at increasing alloying atoms
quantity or number of phases in the initial structure of
material.
Keywords
Composite; Initial
Conductance

Composite

Structure;

Wear;

Contact

Introduction
Contact interaction occurs mostly in contact spots.
Microvolumes of contact spots undergo large plastic
deformation and transit to other structural state.
Processes (plastic deformation, formation of chemical
compounds, etc) in contact zone could percolate into
depth more than 20 microns below the surface . As a
result, a layer of friction induced structures is being
formed and these structures define basic contact
characteristics wear resistance and friction coefficient.
High wear resistance occurs when contact layer
structure becomes stable in friction process
(Fedorchenko, 1980). Therefore it is necessary to
exclude, in the first turn, the plastic deformation in
contact spots. It is often being achieved by raising the

22

material's yield point, or to be more specific, by


increasing the hardness of the initial material structure.
As a rule, hardnening leads to decreasing the ductility.
Therefore this way may be effective in the absence of
structural changes in contact layer during the process
of friction.
Materials oriented for friction under high pressure
must have high structural strength and high hardness
of initial structure. Composites based on the titanium
carbide could be used as such materials. It is of
scientific interest to produce these materials by
selfpropagating hightemperature synthesis (SHS), for
example, by pressing exothermic powder mixture in
combustion wave (Merzhanov, 1995) and then define
their performance in friction under pressure above 20
MPa. In addition, it could be interesting to study
resources of materials under higher heat flow through
contact spots, which might be realized by transmitting
electric current through the worn surface. Sintered
composites produced by methods of powder
metallurgy are used in such friction conditions.
Commercial composites can realize satisfactory wear
resistance at contact current density lower than 60
A/cm2 during sliding current collection (Braunovic,
2007). Friction at pressure higher 20 MPa or sliding at
contact current density above 60 A/cm2 may be
assumed to be the heavy work conditions. Initial
structure of friction pair materials is one of main

Friction and Wear Research Volume 2, 2014

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factors which can provide effective work of friction


units in these conditions.
The objective of the present research is to get some
idea about interconnection of contact characteristics
and initial structure of composites obtained by SHS
methods and powder metallurgy, under friction
loading with rated pressure higher 20 MPa or current
loading with contact current density higher 100 A/cm2.
Materials and Experimental Metods
Sample Preparation
The materials of exothermic charge for obtaining
model microheterogeneous SHS-composites were
powders as follows: titanium, lamp soot, iron (98%Fe+
admixtures), Hadfield steel (HS, 13%Mn). The SHScomposites had the phase compositions presented in
Tables 1 and 2. They were fabricated in a closed mold
mounted in the working space of a hydraulic press.
Combustion was initiated by high-voltage discharge
after heating to 773 K. The powder charge was placed
under the pressure up to 70 MPa during combustion
process.
Macroheterogeneous composites (Table 3) were
fabricated
by
granulation of SHS-composite
TiC+10%Cu+25%HS in grinder-mill to grain size 0,41,0 mm, then by mixing them with iron and saturating
this mixture with bronze (Cu+8%Sn+12%Pb) in
proportions specified in Table 3.
Testing Metods
The hardness HV was measured by the Vickers
hardness tester. The bending strength was
determined on an Instron-1185 testing machine. The
lattice parameter a was found using a DRON-3 X-ray
diffractometer in cobalt radiation. The thermal

conductivity 0 of the composites was determined by


comparing it to the thermal conductivity of the
aluminium (which was used as a reference) under
conditions of stationary heat flow. Contact
characteristics of SHS-composites were obtained on a
drilling bench involving the ring butts loading
scheme (Fig.1, a) (Fadin, 2011) at sliding velocity 0,5
m/s, sliding distance 5 km, mutual overlap coefficient
equal 1 and with single application of a graphite
grease in contact space. Contact characteristics of SHScomposites (Table 2 and Table 3) were as well
examined using the blocks-on-ring loading
condition (fig.1, b) on a Falex friction machine. The
sliding velocity was 0.5 m/s. The sliding distance was
660 m for tests on the Falex machine. Stellite 190
served as counterbody in both schemes (Fig.1, a-b).
Sintered composites were fabricated by fusing in
vacuum at a temperature 1100oC during 2 hours.
Contact characteristics of sintered composites at
current collection sliding were determined using
block-on-shaft testing procedure (Fig.1, c) under
pressure 0,13 MPa. Sliding speed was 5 m/s at sliding
distance 9 km without grease. Steel-45 (50 HRC)
served as counterbody.
Results and Discussion
It is reasonable to start the study of external friction of
new model materials from contact characteristics
defining the selection of materials, which could be
perspective for further study and obtaining general
regularities. The friction of composite TiC+50%(Ni,Cr)
using the ring butts loading scheme shows a sharp
rise of friction coefficient f versus the pressure growth.
Simultaneously rapid deteorioration of friction surface
occurs as a result of intense adhesive interaction with
the counterbody.

TABLE 1. PHYSICAL AND MECHANICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MICROHETEROGENEOUS COMPOSITES BASED ON TIC PRODUCED BY SHS METHOD

0,
W/mK
10
22
35
44

Composition, vol % \ Characteristic


TiC+50%(Ni,Cr)
TiC+30%Cu+20%(Co,Ni,Cr)
TiC+50%Cu
TiC+30%Cu+20%Fe

HV,
MPa
8900
3200
4230
6200

,
MPa
1200
622
803

Fe,
10-10 m
2,8723

TiC,
10-10 m
4,3248
4,3212
4,3253
4,3236

Cu,
10-10 m
3,5690
3,6154
3,6154

TABLE 2. HARDNESS, PHYSICAL AND CONTACT CHARACTERISTICS OF MICROHETEROGENEOUS COMPOSITES BASED ON TITANIUM CARBIDE

Composition, vol % \ Characteristic


TiC+30%Cu+20%Fe
TiC+20%Cu+20%Fe
TiC+30%Cu+20%HS
TiC+20%Cu+20%HS
TiC+10%Cu+25%HS

HV,
GPa
6,2
8,8
7,85
10,8
12,1

0,
W/mK
44
19
-

aTiC,
10-10m
4,3236
4,3265
4,3290
4,3256
4,3256

aCu,
10-10m
3,6154
3,6154
3,6429
3,6473
3,6577

dW, mm

0,205
0,210
0,176
0,198
0,192

0,910
0,844
0,938
0,869
0,856

,
MPa
130
141
127
137
139

, K
425
451
429
443
436

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Friction and Wear Research Volume 2, 2014

TABLE 3. CONTACT PARAMETERS OF MACROHETEROGENEOUS SATURATED COMPOSITES, CONTAINING


COMPOSITES TIC+10%CU+25%HS AND STELLITE 190 AS GRANULES

f
0,172
0,168

Composition, vol % \ Characteristic


[TiC+10%Cu+25%HS]+30%Fe+30%Bronze(Cu+8%Sn+12%Pb)
Stellite 190+30%Fe+30%Bronze(Cu+8%Sn+12%Pb) [Commercial -5]

dW, mm
0,613
0,858

, MPa
194
138

, K
438
422

N
A

220V
2

a)

b)

c)

FIG. 1. BASIC SCHEMES OF TRIBOLOGICAL LOADING: A) - RING BUTTS, B) - BLOCKS-ON-RING, C) - BLOCK-ON-SHAFT


(1 COMPOSITE SAMPLES, 2 CONTERBODY, 3 LUBRICANT)

Thick transfer layer forms on the counterbody surface.


This fact indicates to low heat resistance of surface
layer and instability of its structure. Assuming that
adhesion could be reduced by temperature decreasing
in friction zone, copper
was injected into the
composite for more efficient friction heat removal.
Besides, cobalt was added to the exothermal mixture
to improve the heat stability of the surface layer (SL).
In this way the composite TiC+30%Cu+20%(Co,Ni,Cr)
of improved heat conductivity, was manufactured and
tested for friction (Table 1). As a result friction
coefficient decreased (Fig. 2) but a thick transfer layer
on counterbody formed due to adhesion and thus
wear resistance of composite decreased. Assuming
that heat stability of the SL could be increased more
considerably, SHS-composite TiC+25%Co+25%Cr was
fabricated. Structural state of its SL has not changed
during the friction under contact pressure up to 50
MPa. However, the SL temperature was too high so
that grease burned out, and quasiperiodic cracks
appeared on friction surface as a result of probable
excitation of friction autooscilations. These results
indicate on the insufficient improvement of heat
resistance. It should be mentioned that the TiC lattice
parameters in these composites are almost the same
values (Table 1). Hence TiC properties in different
composites are the same, and difference in friction
behavior is determined by the composition of metallic
matrix.
It is known that large plastic deformation of pure
metals does not lead usually to nanostructural and
amorphous state due to easy relaxation process.
Intermetallic compounds could be transferred to the
amorphous state due to hindrance in occurring the

24

relaxation processes at high strains. Thus the


relaxation in a zone of stress appearance is a basic
factor to define the type of structure (Glezer, 2010).
This indicates on the fact that the presence of elements
solution or several phases in contact spot inhibits the
effective relaxation of stress generated during the
moment of contact.

FIG.2. FRICTION COEFFICIENT VERSUS PRESSURE ON THE


WORN SURFACE OF COMPOSITES: 1 TiC+50%(Ni-Cr), 2
TiC+30%Cu+20%(Co,Ni-Cr), 3 TiC+50%Cu, 4 TiC+30%Cu+20%Fe,
5 CAM-5

Therefore large plastic deformation at such contact


spot will lead to its rapid destruction. Complex
composition of contact layer or of microvolumes of
contact spots could be caused by complex assortment
of chemical elements or phases in initial material
structure. Besides, complex composition of metallic
matrix leads to low heat conductivity of a composite.
This allows assuming that composites having a
complex structure, complex set of chemical elements
or phases in its structure are not capable of easy stress
relaxation in SL and would collapse under pressure
loading faster than composites with simpler structure.

Friction and Wear Research Volume 2, 2014

Therefore it is necessary to carry out friction tests on a


composite TiC+50%Cu since it has rather high thermal
conductivity (Table 1) and plain composition. Tests
showed that the contact of this composite takes place
with lower friction coefficient as compared to that of
composites containing Ni or Cr (Fig. 2). The durability
of composite TiC+50%Cu is higher than the that of
composites containing nickel due to lower SL
temperature. However copper does not wet the
titanium carbide. Therefore the interphase boundaries
TiC/Cu have low mechanical strength and large
thermal resistance. This results in brittle fracture of SL
under pressure of 38 MPa, therefore further increasing
the pressure is unreasonable. The increase of heat
conductivity and the improvement of mechanical
properties
are
gained
by
SHS-composite
TiC+30%Cu+20%Fe (Table 1) creation. The structures
of microheterogeneous SHS-composites are unifomely
as a rule and are similar to the structure of composite
TiC+30%Cu+20%Fe (Fig.3). Wear process of this
composite occurs with low friction coefficient (Fig. 2),
and there are no structural changes in material of SL. It
has higher wear resistance as compared to other
composites described above. Presented here data lead
us to conclusion that the absence of solution and phase
diversity in initial structure corresponds to rather high
stability of SL structure and realization of satisfactory
sliding contact characteristics.

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conductivity and hardness are determined by


composition and content of a metal binder. Since iron
is a filler without the impurity atoms it serves to
improve the heat conductivity and simultaneously
reduce the hardness of the composite. The situation is
opposite for composites having the Hadfiel steel as a
fillerand iron/manganese solid solution binder.
Moreover, the solution of manganese in copper is
being formed as follows from the growth of copper
lattice parameter (Table 3). Decrease of metal binder
content leads to the increase of hardness and,
agreeably, to the decrease of wear track width dW. That
means that wear resistance increases with hardness.
SL of composites TiC+Cu+HS bear evidences of
adhesive wear as distinct from SL of TiC+Cu+Fe
composites. Therefore, the wear resistance of
TiC+Cu+HS composites is slightly lower than that of
TiC+Cu+F ones. Friction coefficients could be
compared reasonably only if dW are equal but it is
impossible judging by the data of Table 2. The low
temperature d of the diesel oil in a bath is an indicator
of low friction force under boundary lubrication.
Effective method of gaining the high working capacity
of tribological materials is a production of
macroheterogeneous metal matrix composite (MMC).
In this composite, the hard granules of SHS-composite
TiC+10%Cu+25%HS are inserted in a soft composite
matrix which is an pseudoalloy of composition
Fe+Bronze(Cu+8%Sn+12%Pb) as shown on Fig.4. Such

FIG.3. MICROSTRUCTURE OF COMPOSITE TIC+30%CU+20%FE

This regularity has been found out using the ring


butts loading scheme but it should be tested in other
cases of contact interaction, for example, under
pressure p>100 MPa. Such friction conditions could be
obtained in an oil bath using the block-on-rings
loading scheme (Fig.1, b). Compositions of SHScomposites fabricated for this research are given in
Table 2. Evidently, the crystalline lattice parameter is
approximately the same in all composites that is the
properties of TiC are the same too. Thus heat

FIG.4. MICROSTRUCTURE OF MACROHETEROGENEOUS


COMPOSITE: 1 FILLER (SHS-COMPOSITE), 2 PSEUDOALLOY
FE+BRONZE(CU+8%SN+12%PB)

an initial structure of material allows to realize rather


small wear track width dW under relatively high
pressure sliding on the worn surface under the
boundary lubrication (Table 3). For comparison the
same sliding contact characteristics of composition
antifrictional material (-5) containing Stellite 190

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Friction and Wear Research Volume 2, 2014

as a heat resistant component are given. Composite


-5 is applied in commercial production of rotary
drill bits for oil well. It follows from the comparison
that model metal matrix-filled composite displays
higher contact characteristics over the composite

CAM-5 in laboratory friction conditions under


constant pressure and sliding velocity. This is
explained by higher hardness of TiC+10%Cu+25%HS
granules in comparison with hardness of Stellite 190
granules.

TABLE 4. OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY PARAMETERS OF DRILL BITS HAVING SUPPORT SLIDER BEARINGS MATERIALS CONTAINING DIFFERENT HARD
GRANULES (MANAGEMENT OF DRILL WORKS, STREGEVOY-SITY)

Composition of filler, vol %

advancing, m

durability, hour

[TiC+20%Cu+20%Fe]+30%Fe +30%Bronze(Cu+8%Sn+12%Pb)

217-255

37-46

[TiC+20%Cu+20%HS]+30%Fe +30%Bronze(Cu+8%Sn+12%Pb)

89-112

15-17

Stellite 190+30%Fe +30%Bronze(Cu+8%Sn+12%Pb)

221-323
189-256
53-247

31-46
35-43
15-33

It is reasonable to justify this regularity on other types


of materials with different properties under effect of
external forces of other nature. Sliding contact of
sintered metal composites and metals under electric
current could be realized for this purpose. The main
SL destruction factor is a contact current density in

Maximum of contact electric conductivity rs-1


corresponds to an inflection point of current-voltage
characteristics as well as to sharp growth of wear
intensity Ih (fig.5, b) that indicates on the beginning of
catastrophic wear process (Fadin, 2009). Contact of
composite Cu+10%Graphite+70%Fe shows the highest
rs-1 and the lowest Ih, i.e. the highest wear resistance
among other composites. One can see also that
catastrophic wear process of a Fe-based composite
starts at higher current density. Catastrophic wear
process of Cu+10%Graphite+70%BBS composite based
on ball bearing steel (BBS) starts under lower j and
lower rs-1 as compared to characteristics of the
Cu+10%Gr+70%Fe composite. The Hadfield steel (HS)
based composite Cu+10%Gr+70%HS has the lowest
contact characteristics. The decrease in both rs-1 and
wear resistance corresponds to the increase in the alloy
additives amount in the composites. Hence we can
draw a conclusion: the catastrophic wear of
composites that have more complicated composition is
due to the increase of concentration of alloy additives
[BBS (Fe+1.5%Cr) and HS (Fe+13%Mn)] starts both at
lower current density jc and lower wear resistance
(Fig.5, b).

this case. Contact characteristics such as specific


surface conductance rs-1=j/U and wear intensity Ih could be considered as indicators of surface
destruction. Contact current density j=i/Aa depends on
the contact electrical resistance r, which is being
determined by the structural state of SL (i is the
current that flows through nominal (geometric)
contact area ). Linear wear intensity Ih=h/L is a main
indicator of SL destruction (h loss of of the blocks
height on sliding distance L). Special surface
conductivity rs-1 of sintered composites' contact
increases within some interval of contact current
density j and contact voltage drop U (Fig. 5a).

a)

Wear resistance of the material could be estimated


explicitly only in operating conditions. The drilling
bits have been fabricated for this estimation. Their
journal
bearings
had
initial
structure
of
macroheterogeneous
MMC.
The
ratio
and
compositions of components are presented in Table 4.
Friction conditions in a boreholeare characterized by
approximate sliding velocity 0,5 m/c, pressure about
120 MPa, existence of vibration and occasional impact
loading. As follows from Table 4, the operability
parameters of bits made with granules TiC+Cu+HS are
appreciably lower than the same parameters of other
bits. This result is in agreement with the above
suggestion that too complex chemical and phase
composition of initial structure leads to accelerated
deterioration of the contact layer during sliding in
heavy duty conditions.

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b)

b)

FIG.5. CURRENT DEPENDENCE OF SURFACE ELECTRIC


CONDUCTANCE (a) AND WEAR INTENSITY (b) OF CONTACT
OF COMPOSITES:: 1 - Cu+10% GRAPHITE +70%Fe; 2 - Cu+10%
GRAPHITE +70%BBS; 3 - Cu+10% GRAPHITE +70%HS 3.

FIG.6. CURRENT DEPENDENCE OF SURFACE ELECTRIC


CONDUCTANCE (a) AND WEAR INTENSITY (b) OF CONTACT
OF STEELS: 1 - STEEL-3; 2 BBS; 3 - HSS; 4 - HS

One can assume that the use of simple


(noncompositional) material structure would lead to
the increase of rs-1, jc and decrease of Ih. To verify this
assumption we realized a sliding electric contact of
steel-3 (V=1360 MPa), ball bearing steel (BBS, 63
HRC), high speed steel (HSS, 64 HRC) and Hadfield
steel (HS, V=2430 ). As illustrated in Fig. 6 the
maximal conductivity of a steel contact corresponds to
the rapid growth of wear intensity Ih at current density
jc. Figure 6 also shows that high speed steel (HSS),
which is composed of several phases could not fit in
this regularity owing to high wear at low current
density. The conductivity rs-1 of steel-3 contact is
higher than rs-1 of other steels (Fig.6, ). Also the
contact current density jc is higher at sliding of steel-3
than jc of other steels. This caused by lower special
electric resistance and higher heat conductivity of
steel-3. Wear intensity Ih of steel-3 is lower than Ih of
other steels (Fig.1, b). The reason for such a friction
behavior of steels could be found from taking in
account their chemical composition as follows: steel-3
(>98%Fe), BBS (Fe+1.5%Cr+2% admixture), HSS
(Fe+6%W+5%Mo) and HS (Fe+13%Mn). One can see
that the increase in concentration of alloying elements
and admixture atoms in initial structure leads to
realization of catastrophic wear under lower jc.

Composites TiC+Cu+HS can realize satisfactory


contact characteristics at friction in oil. It may be
marked that satisfactory contact characteristics were
observed as well at dry friction of composite WC+HS
(Kulkov, 2009). This indicates that the Hadfield steel
may be used as a metallic binder of hard alloy in some
cases. However such results were obtained at
stationary conditions work when sharp changes of
pressure and temperature were absent in SL. This
leads to stable distribution of elements and phases in
the SL structure. The relaxation of temperature and
mechanical stresses are occurred at constant speed in
this case. But the tracks of adhesion interactions are
observed at friction of composites containing Hadfield
steel. Deformation of contact spot and SL
microvolumes leads to distribution of surface atoms
and phases, which differs from the distribution of
elements in the initial structure. Hence it may be
occasionally formed a structure state of SL which is
approximately similar to the SL structure in materials
of different initial structure during electric contact. In
this case contact characteristics would be roughly
equal. Thus contact characteristics of composite
Cu+Graphite+Fe are close to those of steel-3 especially
in the beginning of catastrophic wear (Fig.5 and Fig.6).
It could be suggested, that such a structural state of SL
determines the certain limit of contact characteristics
for all metallic materials. This limit could be expressed
as rs-1<350 S/cm2 jc <300 A/cm2.
Conclusions

a)

Heavy-duty loading of metallic materials by pressure


or electric current during sliding leads to plastic
deformation and destruction of contact surfaces that
could be expressed as Ih>0 m/km. The surface layer
deterioration occurs easier when there exists the
increase either in the alloying elements content or

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Friction and Wear Research Volume 2, 2014

phases in the initial structure of metallic materials.


Therefore, the catastrophic wear begins at lower
numerical values of pressure or contact current
density under conditions of friction or sliding current
collection. Catastrophic wear of surface layer of
metallic materials which slide without lubrication
under the current occurs at certain limiting contact
current density jc <300 A/cm2.

carbide

produced

by

the

process

combustion

method. Journal of Friction and Wear 32, 6 (2011): 462466.


Fadin, Viktor V. and Aleutdinova, Marina I. Effect of the
phase composition of steel-based composites on the
electrical resistance of the friction zone under conditions
of current collection Russian Physics 52 ,6 (2009): 607611.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Study was carried out according to program of Basic


researches of Siberian Branch RAS (program III.20.2,
project III.20.2.4), as well as supported by Russian
Foundation for Basic Researches (projects No. 13-0800076 and No. 13-08-98098).

Fedorchenko, Ivan M., Pugina, Ludmila I. Composition

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